Saturday, 12 February 2011

Vodka and Coke Please.

It seems to me that today; young adults are unable to enjoy a drink without being frowned upon. There has been so much bad press about teen drinking especially, with the boozy breaks abroad and underage drinking but what is so wrong with a 19 year old university student enjoying a night out at a club that only students are able to get in?
I like to drink for many reasons, firstly, it brings everyone together – I wouldn’t have bonded with the people I live with and course mates if it wasn’t for the little bottle of vodka we all had in common. Secondly, it relaxes you – you’re less conscious about how you are coming across and just want to have fun. And lastly, I don’t get hangovers!
I can understand where all the controversy comes from though; being a student in a highly based student town I have witnessed it first hand. Don’t get me wrong, I can't judge them – I too have hugged the pavement on a night out thinking it was my best friend, but if it becomes a regular habit it can become a problem.
As a student, especially in Southampton, everyday is an opportunity to get drunk. I wake up with constant flyers being posted under my doors about drink offers and even come back from a night out with a handful of flyers I can’t help but accept. But drinking around three times a week does not make me an alcoholic, so can someone please tell my mum?
The older generations enjoy it too, my parents are at the pub at least twice a week for a good socialise, but can’t help but judge when I tell them that I’m going to get drunk with the girls over a few cocktails for the third time this week already and it’s only Thursday. It’s inevitable that I will go out when there is somewhere different that offers a pound a drink every night, I take it easy compared to some of the hardcore boozers I know. To be honest witnessing someone chucking their guts up in my kitchen sink is enough to put anyone off binge drinking – and using that sink ever again!
I suppose what I’m trying to get at is that, I enjoy a drink quite a few times a week, but that doesn’t mean I’m one of those out of control teenagers you catch on the television causing a riot, it’s not fair to associate all teenagers with that image!

Friday, 11 February 2011

The Holiday

Arriving at five to six for a six o’clock start I’m greeted by a half ready male in jeans tighter than mine adjusting his tie as he approaches. “Erm, we’re just about to start our sound check now, we’ll be on at about seven, can’t you like go to the bar or something for a bit?” Although having to wait for an hour their suggestion of the bar had a positive effect on me and left me expecting them to be fun time boys with a healthy appetite for a good night out. But I couldn’t help but wonder if this first impression would last?
As seven o’clock struck I had to work my way through the tiny room full of girls, with banging hand bags and hair flicking in each other’s faces fighting to get to the front. Struggling to see through the dim lighting, a moody atmosphere falls upon the crowd with no one knowing what to expect of the unsigned and unheard of band. But still sound checking when everyone was patiently waiting gave the new band an unprofessional, laid back impression they possessed. Flashes of coloured lights hit the crowd, diminishing the glum atmosphere and anticipation as they quietly crept on stage.
This was The Holiday. A bunch of messy lads with a “fuck it lets go” attitude, just looking to perform to anyone that would listen to their “indie rock and cheesy pop” sound that can cater to many peoples taste. With five members to the band, there’s cheeky chap lead vocalist Jamie Smart, on bass and vocals is slightly shy James Harding, alongside him plays James Broderick with the only sound to come out of him is the amazing chords between his fingers in sync with the comedian of the band Daniel Cobb, and finally Jonathon Royston-Claire on drums with a personality as big as himself. Although within the band they have their different roles and play different parts within their friendships, the band that formed in Wetherspoons over a pint still want to give a sense of unity between them. 
They try to set the bands image with their similar preppy style. Skinny jeans; check, white shirts; check, tie; check, plimsolls; check, scruffy stubble; check. Although they may seem like five robots they all have an individual take on their outfits to match their contrasting personalities that are brought together by their muddy plimsolls. Front man of the band Jamie clearly has a fashion head hiding beneath his shiny brown locks as he sports a double breasted jacket over his Beatle inspired look. Whereas the shaggy haired guitarist, Dan kept his laidback look up with a Ralph Lauren bomber jacket and green tie to make his mark within the band; which is a major contrast to Harding who fashioned a smart blazer with his skinny jeans. Leaving the outspoken drummer; who liked to make a racket even at the most inappropriate times, and the silent guitarist who spoke through his guitar wearing basic jumpers over their shirts, to let their music do the talking instead of their image.
Although I had never heard of the band before, and I am sure I am not on my own with that as they confessed to enjoy being under the radar at the moment and being difficult to find online, on stage it felt like they had been performing together for ages. Jumping around and having a laugh with each other whilst performing seemed to be their main priority as they tapped their left legs in sync and bobbed around the stage with their mouths open, head banging to the beat, even those without a microphone were singing along. They generally enjoy their music themselves as Jonathon admitted “I played our new song, ‘The Weekend’ 106 times in 48 hours”. However it came most naturally to front man Jamie who spoke to the crowd while the others were still playing, struggling to be heard by the audience, whereas it appeared more awkward for both guitarists and even supporting vocalist who would look up at the coloured lights to avoid eye contact with the audience. To show their good time abilities and create a fun loving atmosphere they even try to encourage the audience to join in at their gigs by singing “hello sun, goodbye rain” in their self-confessed favourite song, “Cue the rain”.
The fun doesn’t stop once off stage though as the five lads seem to generally enjoy each other’s company with the banter flowing between them and soft play fighting every now and then. Although the band’s lead singer doesn’t like to get too involved with the physical jokes as he likes to play it cool slumped back in his chair with his left hand hanging over the back and a pint in the other. While the others, excluding overly talkative Jonathon who only gives the other members a chance to talk when he stops for a breath, the others sit nervously on the edge of their seats, clutching their hands and crossing over, then uncrossing their legs from time to time, sitting forward in a nervous manner every time they uttered a word.
But underneath the shy exterior laid a funny, light hearted band who could laugh at themselves, James Harding confessed: “This is really embarrassing but once I went on a three day bender and I pissed myself, twice!” to which the whole band burst into fits of laughter about, never tiring of hearing the same story or to mock him about it. To be honest this statement seemed to sum the band up. Although it was hard to get a word in edge ways with the huge drummer and difficult to get a word out Guitarist James, the banter between the boys was refreshing and really gave a sense of what it’s like to be a member of The Holiday.
Where there is believed to be a gap in the market for this Brit-pop guitar band with a self-proclaimed “fresh sound and attitude” the motor mouth member continues, “because we’re not like those other moody bands, we’re like a double rainbow”, the Southampton based band just wants to follow their dream of making it in the industry, as well as having a laugh along the way, which I don’t doubt for a second.